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What does it mean to be "left" politically?

What does "left" mean to you.  

33 members have voted

  1. 1. What does "left" mean to you.

    • Socialist (big government, lots of wealth redistribution and public services)
      24
    • Liberal (people should be allowed to be different)
      2
    • Progressive (the world should be changed to be more "fair")
      4
    • None of the above
      3


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That includes David Cameron then.

 

He backs a progressive taxation system, lifting the personal tax allowance year on year.

 

He has ringfenced funding for the NHS

 

He backs universal education

 

He has intervened in the economy by raising the minimum wage.

 

He must be a socialist!!

 

 

We're almost all capitalists and socialists in the broader sense. Cameron is reducing the size of the state, but only gradually. That makes him a moderate capitalist.

Within the context of UK politics a socialist wants more socialism (Labour, Lib Dems) and a capitalist wants less socialism. Nobody in the main stream wants no socialism or total socialism.

 

---------- Post added 14-11-2015 at 10:52 ----------

 

No, I think you're still confused. You think David Cameron is a socialist.

 

In the UK context, no. In the US context, he would be.

 

A socialist in the UK context wants more socialism than we have now. Cameron is providing us with less. Although not a lot less.

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Yes. .

 

I ask, not to catch you out, but to say that many people who would consider themselves right wing (such as MPs and Ministers in the Conservative Party) also not only believe in, but practice those things.

 

My own view is that politics and ideas can't be reduced to tick boxes - is a mix between lots of factors - intellectual, emotive and instinctive.

I'm not saying that you're totally wrong in your approach, you're not - the descriptors in the poll above are useful.

But I'm sure you would accept that lots of people from socialist to capitalist want 'fairness' - they possibly disagree with what's fair. Similarly many people on the left don't like the idea of a big state, but much prefer power that is devolved at its most local level. Many socialists and Conservatives sign up to the idea that people should be allowed to be different

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We're almost all capitalists and socialists in the broader sense. Cameron is reducing the size of the state, but only gradually. That makes him a moderate capitalist.

Within the context of UK politics a socialist wants more socialism (Labour, Lib Dems) and a capitalist wants less socialism. Nobody in the main stream wants no socialism or total socialism.

 

Very convenient.

 

I give up :hihi:

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Not at all. If I tried hard enough I could find speeches made by Blair and Cameron (neither of them socialists) supporting all of that list. It's too woolly. To be socialist in my eyes it would be generous social security, total free healthcare (ivf, dental, free prescriptions) and free university education. Progressive is a cop out, say high taxation.

 

I was using the language of Unibeliever, as used in his / her poll.

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I ask, not to catch you out, but to say that many people who would consider themselves right wing (such as MPs and Ministers in the Conservative Party) also not only believe in, but practice those things.

 

My own view is that politics and ideas can't be reduced to tick boxes - is a mix between lots of factors - intellectual, emotive and instinctive.

I'm not saying that you're totally wrong in your approach, you're not - the descriptors in the poll above are useful.

But I'm sure you would accept that lots of people from socialist to capitalist want 'fairness' - they possibly disagree with what's fair. Similarly many people on the left don't like the idea of a big state, but much prefer power that is devolved at its most local level. Many socialists and Conservatives sign up to the idea that people should be allowed to be different

 

I find myself in total agreement with your last paragraph.

 

Local government is part of the state. It's all government. What matters is the total size of government.

 

Government can promote equity type fairness by removing taxes from the poor. That's what Cameron has done. There's more that could be done on that front. VAT, NI, corporation tax and other taxes are not very progressive.

Labour thought it was a good idea to tax the poor and then give them the money back in benefits as if they were doing them a favour. That's proper socialism.

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A communist wants total socialism. A Stalinist is prepared to support genocide to achieve it.

I1L2T3 is neither.

 

Stalin carried out his genocides to support Stalin.

 

Also I believe that it's wrong to lump Liberals and socialists in the same group. Ideologically they are very different.

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Stalin carried out his genocides to support Stalin.

 

Also I believe that it's wrong to lump Liberals and socialists in the same group. Ideologically they are very different.

 

A liberal can be either socialist or capitalist.

Are you saying that a liberal is "left" whether they want more socialism or not?

 

I was hoping we'd get into that. That's why I put "liberal" as an option on the poll and allowed for multiple selections on the vote.

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A liberal can be either socialist or capitalist.

Are you saying that a liberal is "left" whether they want more socialism or not?

 

I was hoping we'd get into that. That's why I put "liberal" as an option on the poll and allowed for multiple selections on the vote.

 

From my understanding, Socialist want far greater state control, Liberals want far greater individual freedoms.

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From my understanding, Socialist want far greater state control, Liberals want far greater individual freedoms.

 

My observations on liberals:

 

Liberals are chronically confused about whether "freedoms" means liberties or entitlements. Also whether said "freedom" is to be achieved by the state protecting free citizens from oppression by each other, or by removing oppressions of the state itself.

 

Those interested in minimal state oppression and liberties rather than entitlements are often referred to as libertarians for clarity.

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Despite unbeliever's superb treatise on the subject, socialism is a term referring to the ownership and control of the means of production, which was developed (though didn't originate) during the upheaval of the Industrial Revolution.

 

If you believe in the workers' ownership of the means of production or, at least, democratic control of the means of production then you might be a socialist, otherwise you're probably not.

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Despite unbeliever's superb treatise on the subject, socialism is a term referring to the ownership and control of the means of production, which was developed (though didn't originate) during the upheaval of the Industrial Revolution.

 

If you believe in the workers' ownership of the means of production or, at least, democratic control of the means of production then you might be a socialist, otherwise you're probably not.

 

I would say we need the state to ensure universal healthcare, universal education, and at the very least stringent oversight of transport infrastructure and utilities infrastructure. If left to the free market there is a risk that those things, vital to the success and security of the economy and country, would not be adequately delivered.

 

That doesn't make me a socialist. It makes me a realist.

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